I didn't post about Independence Day on the 4th or 5th...I had meant to, but I wasn't sure what to write. I generally spend the holiday blowing things up and drinking a few beers. It's not in the spirit of the holiday, but it works for me.
A lot of people think of the military and the flag...still not what it's all about, but closer. Independence Day celebrates a time when private citizens were taxed without benefit, forced to quarter soldiers, and treated as lesser citizens based on location, so they fought back.
We tend to forget about it because we're comfortable. We couldn't imagine armed rebellion these days. We've got it good, according to most people...but how much better are things than they were when those men decided to stand up to Britain? We aren't forced to quarter soldiers, but look at where your taxes go. Can you honestly say that your tax dollars are going to largely beneficial programs? I can't. Look at the laws that affect you every day. You are forced to wear a seatbelt (in many states). Regulations keep you from getting products that you already know aren't necessarily safe. If you smoke, some states treat you as a leper, casting you out of public areas. Police no longer obtain warrants for many searches. Phone calls are screened for dangerous words. The government can take your property and give you whatever price they deem fair for it. To fly, you have to submit to draconian regulations regarding which items you may bring on the plane. As a private citizen, you aren't trusted with automatic weapons, and many areas even keep you from getting any guns without permission.
We are complacent, though. We may whine about some of it, but we comply. In fact, sometimes we willingly comply and defend these losses of freedom. One day a year, we celebrate men who refused to accept being kept under the heavy heel of government. Actually, one day a year, we pay a little lip-service to them and watch the fireworks. One day a year, we remain complacent in honor of men who wouldn't.
Mind you, I love my country...it's just that it's not quite the country I'd like it to be.
Hammer has a much better post on this topic.